Graduate Fellows

The Committee on Education is pleased to offer a fellowship program providing additional funding and support to PhD Students and Postdoctoral Fellows in the social sciences who have a deep interest in educational issues. Information on the structure of this program and how to apply can be found here. Below, you can view profiles of current fellows in this program. 

To view new IES Pre-Doctoral Fellows for the 2021-2022 academic year, click here. 

    Maria Adelaida Martinez

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Maria Adelaida Martinez is a Ph.D. student at the Harris School of Public Policy at The University of Chicago. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Universidad de los Andes-Colombia, where she also worked as a researcher. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked as a Research Fellow at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), focusing on the social sector. Whilst at the IADB, she collaborated on projects related to education and early child development in Latin America.

    Research:

    Her research focuses on development economics and education. Currently, she is studying how shocks to immigration flows in and out of educational systems in Latin America affect children’s learning outcomes. Specifically, she leverages mass inflows of Venezuelan citizens to the Peruvian public schools’ systems over the last few years.

    Carlos Angeles

    IES Fellow

    Background:

    Carlos is a doctoral student in The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. He graduated from New York University with an M.A. in Education and received his B.A. from Marquette University in English Literature and Political Science. Carlos served as an educator and administrator for ten years in Chicago and in New York City and has extensive teaching experience having taught middle school, high school, and college courses and served as an Academic Dean at various schools. Additionally, he has assisted in conducting systematic research around teacher led social movements and the efficacy of NYC Department of Education teacher preparation programs. Prior to teaching, Carlos worked in the non-profit and government sector.  

    Research:

    Carlos’s research interests include urban education, Pre-K-12 education reform, the politics of the teaching profession, sociology of education, and mixed and comparative methods. Currently, Carlos is investigating policies and practices that address educational inequality for students of color, immigrant, and Latinx students. 

    Ari Anisfeld

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Ari is a Ph.D. candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy where he previously earned a master's degree in Computer Science and Public Policy (CAPP). Prior to graduate school, he taught middle school math in Thoreau, New Mexico. He holds a master's in education from the University of New Mexico and has a B.A. in history from Grinnell College.

    Research:

    Ari is interested in structural inequality as it relates to education and other social policy. He is currently researching the causes and effects of the decline in corporal punishment in schools in the United States since 1970 (as well as it's persistence). He is also interested in fairness and machine learning and has worked on a tool that help practitioners test their algorithms for different types of bias.

    Uma Blanchard

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Uma is a doctoral student in the Department of Comparative Human Development. She graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Anthropology from Bowdoin College. Uma has worked with young people in a variety of settings, ranging from outdoor experiential education to school-based academic and executive skill coaching.

    Research:

    Uma’s research interests center on narratives of teenage distress. She is interested in how educational and youth development practitioners make sense of and categorize experiences, whether as mental health or otherwise, and how race and gender shape narratives surrounding distress.

    Natalie Brezack

    IES Fellow

    nbrezack@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Natalie is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 2013 with a B.S. in Psychology. For her honors thesis, Natalie researched individual differences in preschooler’s preference for and processing of infant-directed action under the supervision of Dr. Dare Baldwin. 

    Research

    Natalie’s research interests involve social and cognitive development of children (perspective-taking, helping, etc.) and the ways in which caregiver-child interactions impact learning.

    Jacob Butts

    COE Fellow

    jakeb@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Jake is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program working with Dr. Susan Levine. He graduated from Williams College in 2014 with honors and a B.A. in Psychology. Jake then spent several years working in education in Singapore before returning to psychological research. Prior to starting graduate school, Jake served as a research assistant and lab manager in the Cognitive Development Lab at the University of Chicago.   

    Jake’s research focuses on conceptual development in children, with a focus on mathematical symbols and notations. Specifically, he is interested in how linguistic input and spatial representations impact children’s understanding of mathematical concepts. Through this research, Jake hopes to better understand the basic cognitive processes that drive learning and identify mechanisms to close achievement gaps in mathematics.

    Neil Cholli

    IES Fellow

    ncholli@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Neil is a graduate student in the Department of Economics. He received his B.A. in Mathematical Economics and Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. 

    Research

    Neil studies issues related to poverty, inequality, and social mobility. He is particularly interested in uncovering the mechanisms behind inequality including family and social influences and evaluating policies aimed at promoting equality of opportunity such as schools, job training programs, and welfare reforms. He has also assisted IES faculty member Derek Neal on a recent book on the economics of education, Information, Incentives, and Education Policy (Harvard University Press, May 2018).

    Bridgette Davis

    IES Fellow

    bdavis14@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Bridgette is a graduate student in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Prior to earning her master’s degree from Crown, Davis worked in charter and traditional public schools in Atlanta and Chicago for eleven years. She taught both middle school and high school, served as a Dean of Instruction for the Noble Network of Charter Schools, worked as a program director for both Teach For America and One Goal, and managed a school-based college counseling team aimed at attaching high school graduates to four-year college and other meaningful post-secondary opportunities.

    Research

    Bridgette’s research interests include urban education, transitions to adulthood, homelessness, post-secondary education organizations, community colleges, and policy advocacy in the education sector.  Davis plans to study the emerging field of diverse organizations seeking to attach “disconnected” or “opportunity” youth to school and/or work.

    Alison Doxey

    IES Fellow

    Alison Doxey is a PhD student in the Harris School of Public Policy. Before graduate school, she received a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University and worked as a research professional at UChicago’s Booth School of Business. She has primarily worked on economic research using historical data from the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s; for example, one of her projects examined the effect of increased college access on educational attainment and income later in life (as measured in 1940). Alison is broadly interested in studying economic mobility, especially the role of early childhood and postsecondary education in promoting equality of opportunity. 

    Jennifer Etienne

    COE Fellow

    jettienne@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Jennifer is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology. Previously,she earned an MA in Sociology and Education at Columbia University, where she researched the racial implications of school choice processes by interviewing students of color navigating public and elite, private high school admissions.

    Research

    Jennifer’s research interests center on the social contexts of education, race/ethnicity, and stratification. Currently, she uses qualitative research methods to examine the experiences of high school students, specifically students of color, when organizing for racial equity within or outside their schools’ diversity & inclusion frameworks.

    Andrew Frangos

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Andrew is a doctoral student in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Previously, Andrew worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District as a high school math and engineering teacher, an intervention coordinator, and an instructional coach supporting the implementation of equitable grading practices. Andrew also supported student and union organizing to address social justice issues. Andrew holds a B.S. in Systems Science and Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and received a M.A. in Education from Claremont Graduate University with the support of Math for America Los Angeles.

    Research:

    Andrew is interested in studying issues of identity related to race, immigration, and community in the contexts of youth and union organizing, school choice and tracking, school governance structures, and data-driven management practices.

    Karlyn Gorski

    IES Fellow

    gorski@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Karlyn is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology. She received her undergraduate degree in public policy, also from the University of Chicago, in 2014.

    Research

    Karlyn’s research focuses on adolescents in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). In particular, she is especially interested in how CPS students understand (in)equality, segregation, and opportunity, both within and beyond the CPS system. 

    Emileigh Harrison

    COE Fellow

    Emileigh Harrison is a PhD student at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Emileigh seeks to understand how to increase access to education, in particular for women, first-generation college students, and other historically disadvantaged groups. Her work focuses on examining ways to reduce inequality and eliminate barriers to education. Currently, she is studying the effect of statewide transfer policies on the academic outcomes of community college students, as well as changes in gender and racial representation in children’s books and education materials over time. Emileigh is also a Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) Doctoral Fellow.

    Cintia Hinojosa

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Cintia is a doctoral student in Behavioral Science program working with Dr. Christopher J. Bryan at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

    Research:

    Cintia's research focuses on leveraging desires for social justice and autonomy to motivate healthy eating habits, civic engagement, and overall critical reflection on what influences our everyday choices. She has a background in using psychological design methods to implement and evaluate intervention programs that consider how belief systems and contextual factors influence behavioral trajectories. She is currently studying how to use participatory action research methods to better incorporate the needs, wants, and lived experiences of groups at the center of current social problems into intervention designs.

    Alizé Hill

    COE Fellow

    alize@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Alizé is an AM/PhD student in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.

    Research

    Currently, Alizé’s research interests are situated at the intersection of K-12 schools, the criminal justice system, and adultification. Primarily, this has manifested as a desire to examine the within and between school differences of discipline implementation based on factors such as race, gender, school type (public vs private vs charter) and overall school demographics. She is also interested in possible interventions to mitigate youth involvement in the school to prison pipeline such as youth activism, youth attachment styles, and post-suspension supports.

    Ebony Hinton

    IES Fellow

    ehinton@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Ebony is a PhD student in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012 and received her MS in education from Johns Hopkins University in 2016. During her time as an undergraduate student, she founded and managed the Reach Initiative, a college-preparation organization which offered services free of charge to local urban youths. Her research experiences were further honed during an internship at the University of Virginia – Curry School of Education Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) where she investigated the nuances of teacher-student racial dynamics. After completing her undergraduate studies, Hinton went on to serve as a secondary educator in Miami, Florida.

    Research

    Ebony’s research interests lie in the social dynamics between schools and local communities; particularly involving issues of trust, mutual investment, and sustained collaboration. She is also interested in understanding schools as organizations and how school-level practices and policy implementation work to meet the social and emotional needs of students. Ebony wants her work to contribute to a better understanding of the role of school contextual factors in policy implementation—especially for reforms relating to school culture, climate and safety. Through her work at the Consortium for Chicago School Research (CCSR), she secured a position on a research team investigating the role of exposure to community violence in Chicago Public Schools.

    Sireen Irsheid

    COE Fellow

    sireen@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Sireen is a doctoral student in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. She received her BA in Developmental Psychology from DePaul University in 2009 and her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 2013. Sireen is also a licensed clinical social worker and holds certificates in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Her extensive clinical practice experience working as a school social worker with students who are impacted by legacies of colonialism and structural racism has reinforced her commitment to challenge prevailing systemic mechanisms that perpetuate mental health and education inequities. Sireen is also a part of the Beyond Schools Lab lead by Dr. Eve Ewing and the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention led by Dean Deborah Gorman-Smith.

    Research

    Sireen’s research interests focus on the complex intersection between structural inequity, race, mental health and education. Her goal is to contribute to the creation of equitable schools and communities to improve student school success, increase graduation rates nationwide, and improve the overall mental health and life satisfaction of historically marginalized youth and families impacted by structural violence. As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation- Health Policy Research Scholar, Sireen leverages her scholarship to build viable education and health policy solutions with the goal to disrupt mechanisms of inequity for young people of color.

    Natalie Jerkins Dowling

    IES Fellow

    nataliegenz@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Natalie is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Human Development.  Natalie graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in linguistics.

    Research

    Natalie’s research focuses on early childhood education, specifically first language acquisition and gateways to literacy. She is interested in how early oral language skills typically develop, and how early morphological, syntactic, and discourse abilities may be encouraged by caregivers and educators. Her work considers the social and academic effects of extreme differences in early language development for students with disabilities directly influencing communication and access to oral classrooms, such as deafness and autism.

    Esperanza Johnson

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Esperanza is a graduate student in the Department of Economics. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Economics from PUC-Chile, where she also worked as a researcher and instructor. Before starting her PhD, she received an MPP from The Harris School of Public Policy and worked as a research associate at the Spencer Foundation.

    Research:

    Esperanza’s research interests include the economics of education, industrial organization and applied microeconomics. She studies how regulation affects the organization of education markets and its consequences of the performance of students and their labor market outcomes. She is currently working on a project that analyzes a targeted subsidy for low-income students who enroll in higher education, and how institutions react to the implementation of this policy. She is also working with COE faculty member Michael Dinerstein on a project that investigates the growth of the charter school sector in NYC and its impact on the performance of students.

    Caroline Kelly

    IES Fellow

    Background:

    Caroline is a PhD student in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. She received her BA in Public Policy at the University of Michigan and her AM from the Crown Family School. During her master’s program, she worked as a school social work intern in Chicago Public Schools and conducted independent research on the accessibility of mental health services within Chicago area schools.

    Research:

    Caroline is interested in understanding how low-income children and youth connect to mental health services through school settings. Caroline is currently working on projects related to the mental health crisis response system in Chicago.

    Karina Kling

    IES Fellow

    Bio:
    Karina is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology and IES Fellowship programs working with Dr. Susan Levine.  She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2021 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Psychology.
    Research:
    Karina's research centers around the intersection of mathematics, student learning processes, and instructional strategies.  Through focused examinations of crucial early mathematics concepts including fractions and probability, combined with contextualization of the learning environment, she aspires to form a deeper understanding of mathematical development and apply findings to inform practical, equitable, and effective teaching practices.

    Alex Koenig

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Alex Koenig is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Human Development. He graduated from Harvard College in 2014 with a degree in Social Studies and a focus on American Public Education. After graduating, Alex served an Americorps fellowship in Boston Public Schools, worked for an education technology startup, and was the Director of Data and Research for Brooke Charter Schools. Most recently, he taught 5th grade in Tulsa, Oklahoma through Teach for America.

    Research:

    Alex’s research interests center around social inequality, school segregation, and intergroup dynamics. He is interested in applying mixed methods to investigate how schools and communities integrate newcomers and whether or not lessons and best practices in this work can be applied across different contexts.

    David Knight

    IES Fellow

    djknight@uchicago.edu

    Background

    David is a PhD student in the Political Science Department. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College, trained as a teacher at Stanford University, and began his research career as a master’s student at Harvard University. Before coming to Chicago, David was also a certified high school teacher in the city of Boston. Additionally, David holds fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

    Research

    David’s research interests are civic and political learning; transitions to adulthood; and urban education. More specifically, he has investigated changing understandings of citizenship in the United States with regard to race, ethnicity, and immigration; how social policies affect the political engagement and incorporation of historically marginalized groups; the sources and measurement of school disadvantage; and the political economy of urban education.  

    Vanessa Lazaro

    IES Fellow

    Background: 

    Vanessa is a Developmental Psychology doctoral student working with Dr. Lin Bian. She graduated from Cornell University and received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Inequality Studies. After graduating, she worked as the lab manager for the Emerging Minds Lab at Arizona State University, where she conducted research on curiosity in infants and young children.Research Interests:

    Vanessa’s research interests can be found at the intersections of social and developmental psychology and early education. She uses an interdisciplinary framework to investigate how children's social biases about power, privilege, and inequality in educational contexts are influenced by society and their beliefs about social groups.

    Mengyuan Liang

    COE Fellow

    mengyuanliang@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Mengyuan Liang is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. She holds an M.A. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and a Bachelor degree in Public Administration from Zhejiang University of P.R. China.

    Research

    Mengyuan’s research centers on the application and improvement of quantitative methods in education policy research and program evaluations. Her research interests include teacher knowledge, inequality of educational resources, reversed gender gap in higher education and gender difference in labor market outcomes. Her independent work has been selected for presentations at annual meetings of Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) and Population Association of America (PAA).

    Helen Lee

    IES Fellow

    helenlee@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Helen is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Human Development. Prior to entering her doctoral program, she worked as a middle school teacher, community organizer, and policy analyst. She also has experience working in nonprofits serving youth, parents, and communities. Helen holds a B.A. in English and Political Science and a M.A. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Michigan.

    Research

    Helen is broadly interested in developing and sustaining humanizing school systems and out-of-school spaces for youth. Her current research focuses on mental health, teacher development and retention, and Asian Americans.

    Michelle Madlansacay

    IES Fellow

    Background

    Michelle is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology working with Susan Goldin-Meadow. She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology, an additional major in Global Studies, and a minor in Arabic Studies from Carnegie Mellon University in 2020. During her time at Carnegie Mellon, Michelle conducted research focused on language education and on the role of second-order correlation learning in infant language development. In 2021, Michelle graduated with an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While at Harvard, Michelle worked as a graduate research assistant for Project Zero’s Global Children Project, where she investigated how young children’s conceptions of geographical space contribute to their development of global competence. 

    Research

    Michelle is interested in identifying through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research the verbal and nonverbal characteristics of human language that can be considered universal. She hopes that this research can be applied to enhancing the communicative relationships between educators and learners across communities and cultures. 

    Valerie Michelman

    IES Fellow

    vmichelman@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Valerie is a graduate student in the Harris School of Public Policy. She received her undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago.

    Research

    Valerie works in the fields of labor and public economics with a focus on the economics of education, gender, and inequality. Current work includes papers on the design of teacher pay schedules and the role of old boys clubs in the returns to elite universities.

    Monica Moore

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Monica is a PhD student in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. She received her BS in International and Global Studies from Rochester Institute of Technology and her AM from the Crown Family School. Prior to pursuing her master’s degree, Monica worked as an after-school program instructor in Chicago.

    Research:

    Monica is interested in the experiences of Black adolescents and young adults in community-based education spaces. She is interested in understanding how these spaces function as locations of support, as well as the role they play in both interrupting and perpetuating systemic inequality. Monica is currently a part of the Beyond Schools Lab led by Dr. Eve L. Ewing.

    Madeleine Oswald

    COE Fellow
    Background:
    Madeleine is a doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program working with Dr. Susan Levine and Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow. She completed her B.A. at Wesleyan University in 2014 with a double major in Psychology and Theatre. Previously, Madeleine worked for Dr. Anna Shusterman's Cognitive Development Lab at Wesleyan University and Dr. Jill Lany's Infant Studies Lab at the University of Notre Dame.
    Research:
    Madeleine is interested in the development of early math skills, particularly how linguistic and environmental factors support number word acquisition. Currently, she is using both experimental and observational data to explore the impact of gestures on number learning.

    Nancy Pantoja

    IES Fellow

    npantoja@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Nancy is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago in 2013. She completed an honors thesis examining the effects of private speech and agency on children’s memory. After graduating, she taught first graders in Chicago through Teach For America.

    Research

    Nancy is interested in exploring how social interactions can affect children’s motivation and academic outcomes. She is interested in understanding how manipulating these interactions affects children’s math learning and performance, and how these interactions differ in contexts of socioeconomic status.

    Emilia Szmyrgala

    IES Fellow

    Background:

    Emilia Szmyrgala is a doctoral student in the Department of Comparative Human Development. She graduated in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Applied Developmental Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles. Emilia was an educator in Chicago and taught second grade in both Washington Park and Brighton Park neighborhoods. She also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education.

    Research:

    Emilia’s research interests center on trauma-informed teaching practices and social emotional learning. In the context of student learning and COVID-19, Emilia is interested in how to support student learning trajectories and teachers in the aftermath of the pandemic. Emilia is also involved in the Getting on Track pre-k assessment system to support teachers in targeting math and language skills to promote kindergarten readiness among young children

    Hilary Tackie

    IES Fellow

    hntackie@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Hilary is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Human Development. She received her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and Africana Studies from Brown University in 2013. Before beginning her graduate work at U of C, Hilary worked as a Research Assistant at Education Trust, analyzing data of K-12 Students to identify patterns of inequity in educational opportunity and achievement.

    Research

    Hilary’s current research interests broadly involve examining the educational experiences of students of color and the sources of their sense of belonging in their schools and communities. More specifically, Hilary has recently completed a survey of 500 middle school-aged students in order to explore the relationship between students’ future goals/feelings of future support and their emotional engagement in school. For the past two years, she has also been working on Professor Keels’ Trauma Responsive Educational Practices Project, presenting information to and hosting professional development for teachers who interact with traumatized youth.

    Eos Trinidad

    COE Fellow

    jtrinidad@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Eos is a doctoral student at the Department of Comparative Human Development. He was previously researcher and instructor at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Institute for the Science and Art of Learning and Teaching. 

    Research

    Eos’s research looks at the influence of social, policy, and non-cognitive factors in the development of, and long-term outcomes for, students. Aside from his quantitative research on policies and non-cognitive factors affecting student achievement, he also studies student-centered learning in higher education and teacher responses to bureaucratic control.

    Ashley Uphoff

    IES Fellow

    Background:

    Ashley Uphoff is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Human Development. She completed her MA in Social Science with a certificate in Education and Society at the University of Chicago in2020. Previously, she served an Americorps member in Indiana, where she directed a non-violence curriculum with kids ages 3-18.

    Research:

    Ashley’s research interests center around educational inequality, school segregation, and neighborhood effects on students’ long-term outcomes. She is interested in applying mixed methods to explore how adolescents experience school choice in Chicago Public Schools.

    Ana Vasan

    IES Fellow

    Background:

    Ana Vasan is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Human Development.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Studies and Philosophy from Vanderbilt University.  Prior to pursuing a doctoral degree, Ana served in the Peace Corps in Morocco as a Youth Development Specialist worked in education and public health in Chicago.

    Research:

    Ana is interested in children’s experiences of trauma and the ways in which schools interact with and address students who have had traumatic experiences, especially as those interactions may intersect with the racial and gender identities of students and impact students’ relationships with the education system.

    Mia Velazquez

    COE Fellow

    Background:

    Mia is a doctoral student in the Cognition program working with Dr. Susan Levine. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and minor in Chemistry. While at UIUC, Mia worked as a research assistant in the Brain and Cognitive Development Lab of Dr. Daniel Hyde. After graduation, she spent two years as research assistant and lab manager for Drs. Nora Newcombe and Tim Shipley in the Research in Spatial Cognition Lab at Temple University.

    Research:

    Mia is broadly interested in the underlying cognitive mechanisms of mathematical learning, and, more specifically, the relationship between spatial and numerical cognitive development. She is also interested in the effects of sociocultural factors on cognition, and supporting underrepresented students in STEM.

    .

    Jessica Waltmon

    IES Fellow

    Background
    Jessica is a doctoral student and Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Fellow in Developmental Psychology working with Katherine Kinzler and Susan Levine. She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis with Highest Honors. For her honors thesis, Jessica examined how general mindsets (Dweck, 1999) and stress mindsets (Crum et al., 2013) relate to college students’ experiences of stress and academic burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic under the supervision of Yuko Munakata. During her time at Davis she worked as a research assistant in the Social Environment and Stress Lab of Dr. Camelia Hostinar, and the Cognition in Context Lab of Dr. Yuko Munakata. She also completed an NSF funded CSLI summer Internship at Stanford University in 2020 working with Dr. Ellen Markman and a graduate student, in which they examined helicopter parenting practices and beliefs.

    Research Interests
    Broadly, Jessica’s interests include 1) understanding what shapes our conception of our cognitive abilities and how this influences our behaviors; 2) investigating how this knowledge can bolster interventions in education, industry, policy, and medical fields.

    Kailey White

    COE Fellow

    kwhite10@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Kailey is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. She received her B.A. in Sociology from University of Michigan. 

    Research

    Kailey’s research examines the structural and cultural barriers to accessing higher education across socioeconomic backgrounds in the United States. In addition to studying educational inequality, she studies  crime in urban areas, focusing on factors influencing disparities in who is likely to be a victim of gun violence as well as who is likely to be convicted for gun crimes. 

    Rohen Shah

    COE Fellow

    shahr@uchicago.edu

    Background

    Rohen is a Ph.D. candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to graduate school, he taught high school math in Detroit, Michigan, and managed a state-wide tutoring company in Michigan. He is also a co-founder of the educational technology company DiagKNOWstics Learning. He received his bachelor’s degree in math and economics and master’s degree in math education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.

    Research

    Rohen is interested in applying tools from behavioral economics to improve outcomes in education. He has worked with Ariel Kalil and Susan Mayer on field experiments in early childhood education to increase parent engagement using behavioral tools, and with John List on a field experiment with university students on team performance. He is currently working on a study to analyze mechanisms behind learning during math tutoring sessions.